Friday, August 26, 2016

Beef Breakfast

In August, my father-in-law was asked if Whitehurst Cattle Co. would host a breakfast for bloggers who were on a “Ranch to Plate” type tour hosted by the Florida Beef Council. Typically we’d host something like this out at the family lodge, but one of the cousin’s were getting married out there that weekend, so it was tied up. Plan B, the family hunting camp, turned out to be a fantastic place for the breakfast, though. IMG_4899

Since we were in the woods, I wanted to keep the feel rustic. We used those old faithful ruffled-burlap runners that I made years ago and have used countless times since. We have one long line of picnic tables at the camp, so it made for a neat looking table. We bought some cheap buffalo check gingham fabric to serve as our tablecloth, and ordered some fresh sunflowers and other greenery from the florist, that I arranged in mason jars for the tables. I also added in some pine branches and pine cones from the yard. Sadly, I didn’t get many pictures – we were too busy stirring grits and rolling biscuits. :)IMG_4892

Since we were hosting bloggers, I knew they’d have cameras and I knew they’d appreciate presentation. We were all slightly nervous because they are FOOD bloggers – true foodies – and while I think we all cook pretty dang good, it’s still really intimidating. It was breakfast though, and how hard is it to mess up breakfast? Pretty hard, so we had that going for us. ;)

The president of the Florida Beef Council introduced my father-in-law, who introduced all of us and told about the family ranch. He shared how our children are the fifth generation to live out here, and how it was all started by his Grandfather, and that while he runs the company, it’s owned by him, his sisters, and their eight cousins. The bloggers all seemed to love the fact that Whitehurst Cattle, as in most family farms and ranches, is a multi-generational operation. After the blessing, it was time to eat! IMG_4888

We did a biscuit bar, with homemade buttermilk biscuits, sausage gravy, country fried steak, bacon, link sausage, cheeses, breakfast casserole, grits, pancakes, and fresh fruit. I did a mini-cascade with the Florida Beef Council logo carved in the melon on top. IMG_4883It was a beautiful spread. All piled up on the two square serving tables at the camp… it was rustic and warm and totally “homey.” I was so pleased with how it all came together. IMG_4889

Like I said, we didn’t have a chance to get many pictures, but I snagged some from the bloggers’ instagram accounts: IMG_4893IMG_4894IMG_4896IMG_4897

It was such a fun morning and we enjoyed meeting the ladies and serving them breakfast.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A New Girl in Town

There’s a new girl in our neighborhood, and we couldn’t love her more already!

Our niece, Quinn, was born on her Uncle Devin’s birthday! Her “Happy Birthday, Uncle Devin” text letting us know she was here was his favorite birthday message this year. It’d be a hard one to beat, for sure!

DW & I met Pappy, Nie-Nie, big brother Parker, Uncle Van, & Aunt Kels to have birthday lunch for DW before all heading up to the hospital to meet sweet Quinn. IMG_4497

The August 12th Birthday Buddies

She is such a little beauty and looks like a tiny version of her Mama. It’s the sweetest.

That evening, we had DW’s birthday supper at Grammy & Pop’s and left Tucker with them while we took the girls to the hospital to meet to Quinn, too. They couldn’t wait to see her! IMG_4553

These two nieces prepared Uncle Adam a little for what life will be like with a girl. He’s loved them both and they think the world him, too. IMG_4708

Pappy & the girls

AB & Mames think Quinn is the sweetest and I can’t wait to see the relationship those three little girls grow into. IMG_4558IMG_4564

The next morning, we went and got balloons to hang on the mailbox and a big brother surprise for Parker, to welcome Quinn home! IMG_4597

The girls were so happy to get to hold her again! IMG_4640

Me, too! There’s nothing sweeter than a new baby, especially with they’re in your family.


Monday, August 15, 2016

New Park

Gainesville opened it newest park, Depot Park, this summer, and we couldn’t wait to check it out.

Lauren and I wanted to take the boys, so we waited until the second day of school to take them. We were also hoping to entice Miss Quinn to make her arrival. I begged Lauren not to go into labor until after we’d had some Chick-fil-A for lunch and to please not let her water break in my car.  Ha. Ha.

We got to the park mid-morning and it was SO crowded. So many mommas and little ones.

We hit the splash part first, then made our way around all the other fun areas, and then back to the water pad to cool off. Florida is SO.DANG.HOT. IMG_4369IMG_4451

The park equipment is all super cute. I loved all the look of real trees and animals.


and there’s so many fun things to play on.


The park was a hit and both boys, even though, their little cheeks were red as beets, threw a fit when it was time to leave.

I’m happy to report that we made it to Chick-fil-A for some lunch IMG_4459

and that Lauren didn’t go into labor until…. early the next morning!!!! I about fell out when we got the text that Quinn was HERE at 6:00 the following morning! A crazy coincidence – my other sister in law, Amber, when into labor with our nephew Warren after she and I spent all day shopping that day. So if someone needs to go into labor, I’ll be glad to hang with you for a day. ;)


Friday, August 12, 2016

Back to School 2016

Just when I feel like we’ve gotten in the swing of the whole AB being in school thing, life throws in some change and it’s time for Mamie to start too! Oh man. Have I ever mentioned I’m not the biggest fan of change?

Mamie has been so excited about it, though, and I know it will be really good for her. So I’m excited, too.

Like all the years before, we back-to-school shopped with Grammy on one of her last Fridays off. When we got home the girls had to try on all their new cloths and shoes. It was the cutest.IMG_4479 I used to love going back to school shopping, too. On the hour-long drive home, I’d always pull all the bags up front and go through it all again. I love that my girls are like that, too. ;)

Nie-Nie also took them shopping and to a movie on one of our last days of summer break. It’s a tradition Mamie was super excited to be a part of this year.

DW & I took them to buy school supplies IMG_4034and I almost had the ugly cry right there next to the crayons when I thought about leaving little Mames on her first day. I was sad about AB starting Pre-K, but I wasn’t nearly as nervous for her as I was for Mamie.

I can’t believe we bought a Kindermat! IMG_4038I remember having one in Kindergarten. AB only did half a day of Pre-K, so we didn’t have to buy her one, because she didn’t nap at school.

We also bought the supplies for the Stuff the Bus event that week, using the girls lemonade stand money. They spent 1/3 of their money for this cause (the other 1/3 went to VBS missions offering and they saved the other 1/3). IMG_4053They were so excited to buy all those supplies, but even more happy to carry them on the bus themselves to “stuff” it! IMG_4061IMG_4065

School started on a Wednesday this year. It was weird starting in the middle of the week, but it did give us a couple days to get a few extra things done, like a back to school treat for the teachers, and have our backpacks, lunchbox containers & nap mat monogrammed… because PRIORITIES. ;) IMG_4221IMG_4224IMG_4244DSC_6729

We didn’t get to have the girls’ nails done with Ms. Franne like last year, but I tried my hand at painting them, and they turned out super cute. High-five, self. ;)IMG_4346

I always start the year strong, organized and ready. (It lasts about two weeks and then I’m slapping a PB&J together, and we’re running out the door, five minutes late & I’m signing the daily folder while waiting in the drop-off line. Ha.) 

We had our annual pictures on the porch and ‘First Day’ big breakfast before it was time to drop the girls off.



DW came with us, which always makes the first day that much more special. IMG_4265

We walked AB to her class first…  DSC_6713IMG_4273We are so excited about her teachers again, this year. Both seem so wonderful and I think they will be a perfect fit for our second grader. IMG_4274 

Mamie was up next.DSC_6711 Her Pre-K class starts their day every morning in the cafeteria. IMG_4290All the students eat breakfast for free, so they are all encouraged to get a tray and eat something. Mames was excited to walk through the line and make her selections. IMG_4279We sat with her for a while and then DW peeled me away. Ha. We are so thrilled that Maybree’s Pre-K teacher is Mrs. L, who was also AB’s. IMG_4284We adore her and feel one hundred percent comfortable leaving Mamie in her care, not to mention the assistant in the class is also married to one of DW’s cousins. It’s a great fit for Maybree and I know it’s going to be a wonderful year full of learning and growing. We’re excited to see the academic progress and little friends she will make. 

Tucker didn’t really know what to think about the girls not being home all day. He’d ask about them every 30 minutes or so. “Where’s the ‘grails’ at, Momma?” We passed the time by having a lunch date at Mexico with Daddy, and I think he could get used to not having to share the cheese dip. IMG_4309

He also got a fun surprise package in the mail from Grandma. This made his day, and helped pass the time, too! IMG_4355

That afternoon, we picked both girls up and they were both all smiles. AB’s favorite part is being a safety ranger and she’s already laid down the law that she HAS to be at school early every morning, and we CANNOT be late. We’ll see how that goes. ;)

It’s going to be a great school year! DSC_6695